This crypto millionaire is building his own city in the Nevada desert

Jeffrey Berns plans to develop 67,000 acres into a city powered by blockchain

Jeffrey Berns (Credit: Concept architecture by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects +Tom Wiscombe Architecture)
Jeffrey Berns (Credit: Concept architecture by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects +Tom Wiscombe Architecture)

A cryptocurrency millionaire plans to transform desert land in Nevada – a plot larger than Reno – into a dream city that runs on blockchain technology.

Jeffrey Berns, owner Blockchains LLC, paid $170 million this year to buy land populated mostly by bush and wild horses, the New York Times reported. Now, he’s planning an experimental community that will span over 100 square miles and include homes, schools, commercial districts, production studios, an office park and e-gaming arena.

Renderings courtesy Tom Wiscombe Architecture

Blockchains, LLC acquired 67,000 acres of land in northern Nevada earlier this year to build this new city, which has been dubbed Innovation Park. The smart city will have blockchain technology incorporated into its infrastructure and systems.

Renderings courtesy Tom Wiscombe Architecture

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Berns bought into Nevada for his megaproject because of its tax benefits and lack of income taxes. He is spending his own money – $300 million so far, he said – on land, offices, planning and staff of 70 employees.

He also promised to relinquish 90 percent of the dividends to residents, employees and investors.

So far, Berns won approval from officials eager for development. Storey County, where the land is located, has about 4,000 residents. It’s best known for mining and, until now, brothels.

Berns said the company won’t begin construction on the broader property until late 2019, at the earliest, after finalizing the master plan and getting approval from the county. [NYT] – Gregory Cornfield